May 2005


Algeria: In a cabinet reshuffle, Mohammed Bedjaoui becomes foreign minister and Mourad Medelci finance minister.
Switzerland: Claude Roch becomes president of the Council of State of Valais and Dorothée Fierz president of the government of Zürich.


Italy: Piero Marrazzo is installed as president of Lazio.
Organization of American States: José Miguel Insulza is elected secretary-general after the withdrawal of Luis Ernesto Derbez. Insulza receives 31 votes with 2 abstentions and 1 blank vote. He takes office May 26.
Singapore: Former president (1985-93) Wee Kim Wee dies.


Iraq: The government of Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari is sworn in. On May 8, six cabinet vacancies are filled, Saadoun al-Duleimi being appointed defense minister.
Togo: The Constitutional Court confirms the election of Faure Gnassingbé as president. He is sworn in on May 4.


Bosnia and Herzegovina: The House of Representatives appoints Ivo Miro Jovic as the Croat member of the Presidency. He is approved by the House of Peoples on May 9.


Dominica: In parliamentary elections, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit's Dominica Labour Party wins 12 of 21 seats, the United Workers' Party 8, and independents 1. On May 12 Skerrit announces his new cabinet, in which he keeps the finance and security portfolios while Charles Savarin becomes foreign minister.
Ecuador: Congress elects Alejandro Serrano Aguilar as new vice president.
Mexico: Silverio Cavazos Ceballos takes office as governor of Colima.
United Kingdom: In parliamentary elections, Prime Minister Tony Blair's Labour Party wins 356 of 646 seats (35.2% of the vote), the Conservative Party 198 (32.3%), the Liberal Democrats 62 (22%), the Democratic Unionist Party 9 (0.9%), the Scottish National Party 6 (1.5%), Sinn Féin 5 (0.6%), Plaid Cymru 3 (0.6%), the Social Democratic and Labour Party 3 (0.5%), the Ulster Unionist Party 1 (0.5%), RESPECT 1 (0.3%), Health Concern 1 (0.1%), and independents 1. No seats are won by the United Kingdom Independence Party (2.3% of the vote), the Green Party (1%), and the British National Party (0.7%). Turnout is 61.3%. On May 6 Blair unveils his new cabinet, in which John Reid replaces Geoff Hoon as defence secretary.


Italy: Vito De Filippo is installed as president of Basilicata.
Poland: Prime Minister Marek Belka submits his resignation, but it is rejected by President Aleksander Kwasniewski on the same day.


United States: In mayoral elections in San Antonio, Julián Castro (Dem.) receives 42% of the vote, Phil Hardberger (Dem.) 30.1%, and Carroll Schubert (Rep.) 26.3%. Turnout is 17.7%.


Central African Republic: In the presidential election runoff, incumbent François Bozizé wins 64.7% of the vote and Martin Ziguélé 35.3%. Turnout is 64.6%. The parliamentary runoff leads to the following overall result (including seats decided in the first round): the National Convergence coalition wins 42 of 105 seats (including the Party for National Unity with 3 seats and the Movement for Democracy and Development with 2), the Liberation Movement of the Central African People 11, the Central African Democratic Rally 8, the Social Democratic Party 4, the Patriotic Front for Progress 2, the Alliance for Democracy 2, the Londo Association 1, and independents 34.
Cyprus: In the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, the government of Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer wins a vote of confidence (28-19).


Chile: Adriana Delpiano temporarily becomes interior minister in succession to José Miguel Insulza. On May 24 Francisco Vidal takes over the post.


India: Former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh (1967-69) and governor of Bihar (1988-89) Govind Narayan Singh dies.
United States: In mayoral elections in Omaha, incumbent Mike Fahey (Democrat) defeats David Friend (Republican), 60.7%-39.1%; turnout is 24.7%. In Jersey City, incumbent Jerramiah Healy (Dem.) defeats Melissa Holloway (Dem.), 75%-19%.


Burundi: Jean-Marie Ngendahayo is appointed interior minister.

Cayman Islands: In elections to the Legislative Assembly, the People's Progressive Movement wins 9 out of 15 elective seats, the United Democratic Party 5, and one goes to an independent. Turnout is 78%. On May 18 Kurt Tibbetts becomes leader of government business.
Madagascar: Fianarantsoa governor Ravelomanga Randrianarivo is sacked. Fidy Mpanjato Rakotonarivo replaces him.
Niue: Young Vivian is reelected as premier, defeating O'Love Jacobsen in a parliamentary ballot by 17 votes to 3. Vivian later announces his cabinet, dropping Finance Minister Toke Talagi and assuming the portfolio himself.
Russia: President Vladimir Putin nominates incumbent Vasily Bochkarev as governor of Penza oblast. Bochkarev is confirmed by the local legislative assembly on May 14 (42-1).


Belgium: Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt's government survives a parliamentary vote of confidence; the vote is 97-50 in favour of the government.
Czech Republic: The government of Prime Minister Jirí Paroubek wins a vote of confidence (101-99).
Switzerland: Former Landammann of Solothurn (1976, 1980, 1984, 1988) Alfred Rötheli dies.


Lithuania: Zigmantas Balcytis is appointed finance minister.
Taiwan: In elections to an ad hoc National Assembly charged with amending the constitution, the Democratic Progressive Party wins 42.5% of the vote (127 of 300 seats), the Kuomintang 38.9% (117), the Taiwan Solidarity Union 7% (21), the People First Party 6.1% (18), and the Jhang Ya Jhong Union 1.7% (5). Turnout is 23.4%.


Ethiopia: In parliamentary elections, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi's Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front wins 296 of 492 declared seats, the Coalition for Unity and Democracy 109, the United Ethiopian Democratic Forces 52, and the Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement 11; 55 of the 547 seats will be decided on August 21 (23 in the Somali region and 32 where the election has to be held again due to irregularities).


Canada: In elections in British Columbia, the Liberal Party of Premier Gordon Campbell wins 45.8% of the vote (46 of 79 seats), the New Democratic Party 41.5% (33), and the Green Party 9.2% (0). Turnout is 57.5%.
Congo (Brazzaville): Former foreign minister (1984-91) Antoine Ndinga Oba dies.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: A cabinet reshuffle takes effect in which Mike Browne becomes foreign minister, replacing Louis Straker, who remains deputy prime minister.
United States: In the mayoral runoff in Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa (Dem.) defeats incumbent James K. Hahn (Dem.), 58.7%-41.3%. Villaraigosa is to be sworn in on July 1.


Kyrgyzstan: Acting President Kurmanbek Bakiyev appoints Murat Sutalinov as acting interior minister.


Canada: The government of Prime Minister Paul Martin wins a vote of confidence in the House of Commons (153-152).
Paraguay: Finance Minister Dionisio Borda resigns and is replaced by Ernst Bergen.


Austria: Former foreign minister (1966-68) Lujo Toncic-Sorinj dies.


Djibouti: A new government is formed including Mahamoud Ali Youssouf as foreign minister, Ali Farah Assoweh as finance minister, and Yacin Elmi Bouh as interior minister; Ougoureh Kifleh Ahmed remains defense minister.
Germany: In state elections in Nordrhein-Westfalen, the Christian Democratic Union wins 44.8% of the vote (89 of 187 seats), the Social Democratic Party 37.1% (74), the Greens 6.2% (12), and the Free Democratic Party 6.2% (12). Turnout is 63%.
Mongolia: In presidential elections, Nambaryn Enkhbayar of the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party wins 53.4% of the vote and Mendsaikhany Enkhsaikhan of the Democratic Party 20%. Turnout is 74.9%.
Russia: Former head of the administration of Novosibirsk oblast (1991-93, 1995-2000) Vitaly Mukha dies.


Poland: Interior Minister Ryszard Kalisz offers his resignation, which is rejected by Prime Minister Marek Belka on May 25.


Brunei: Pehin Dato Awang Haji Adanan becomes minister of home affairs in a cabinet reshuffle.
Russia: President Vladimir Putin nominates incumbent Oleg Korolev as head of administration of Lipetsk oblast. On May 28 Korolev is confirmed by the local Council of People's Deputies (34-1 with 1 abstention).
United Nations: Former Portuguese prime minister António Guterres is designated as new high commissioner for refugees. He is confirmed by the General Assembly on May 27.


China: The chief secretary for administration and acting chief executive of Hong Kong, Donald Tsang, resigns to run for the chief executive's post. Once the central government approves the resignation, Financial Secretary Henry Tang will become acting chief executive.
Suriname: In parliamentary elections, President Ronald Venetiaan's New Front coalition wins 41.1% of the vote (23 of 51 seats) and Dési Bouterse's National Democratic Party 23.1% (15). Turnout is 65.5%.


Burkina Faso: Former president of Upper Volta (1966-80) Sangoulé Lamizana dies.
World Trade Organization: Pascal Lamy of France is selected as the next director-general, to take office September 1.


Andorra: Albert Pintat Santolària is elected head of government by 15 votes against 12 for Jaume Bartumeu Cassany.


Lebanon: In the first round of parliamentary elections, Saad al-Hariri's Future Tide Movement wins 16 of 19 Beirut seats, independents 2, and the Hezbollah 1. Turnout is about 28%.


Cyprus: Former administrator of the British Sovereign Base Areas (1973-76) Sir John Aiken dies.
France: Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin resigns and Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin is appointed prime minister.
Guyana: Gail Teixeira becomes acting home affairs minister.
Inter-American Development Bank: Enrique Iglesias announces his resignation as president, effective September 30.
Russia: The president of North Ossetia-Alania, Aleksandr Dzasokhov, resigns.
Switzerland: Bernard Soguel becomes president of the Council of State of Neuchâtel.
Turkmenistan: Amandurdy Myratguliyev is appointed finance minister.